Cuban Salsa: Detailled visual breakdown of basic steps and Dil Que No?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by TomSchueler, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    As I said, we call that hockey stick in BR and follower starts turning 2 steps later than in enchufla in casino.
    I frequently use enchufla when dancing a kind of casino style cha cha cha on parties (although rare now, since intrusion of kizomba) similar to that on cha cha cha videos posted by Yoel (that I like much more than linear cha cha cha danced by others), but followers that did some BR are always surprised with the turn that happens earlier than they are used to

    CUBAPEDIA Changui

    Pierre's Enchufa, as I described and shown in that video, is the Son Urbano version. It is not however, identical to mature Casino. One of the significant differences is that the lady in Casino always steps forward, while the older Son version she steps back after the pivot. Casino, if one is to differentiate it from Son Urbano, ended up optimizing the steps so the woman steps always forwards. This development did not fully mature until the 70's, and if you look at casino dancers from the 60's and before, they will look like Pierre.

    But remember the original argument, where does Casino's Enchufa come from? It comes from a figure that already existed in Son, not from whatever is done in Swing or European Ballroom. These foreign dances might have similar figures developed independently or emulating Cuban Son. Keep in mind that Latin Ballroom such as Mambo, Bolero, Cha Cha Cha, and Rumba are molded after Cuban dances, not the other way around. Pierre's contribution was to attempt to bring back Latin Ballroom to its roots, not to come and teach Cubans.

    Out of curiosity, can you send me a video of this "hockey stick".
  3. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Rumba.. What they were teaching in the UK in the 40s for Rumba was more Danzon ( and that's empirical )

    As to mambo, I respectfully disagree with Doris , in equating it with a fast Rumba .
    As to being at its "best ", I find that very subjective ...(The English NEVER took mambo on board ! ) .

    The late Bobby Medeiros, gave an exhibition in Blackpool in 1963/4 (?) and altho well received, it never was adopted.

    Ironically, Laird became the criteria for latin in the UK, in the same time period of Doris, and still today, is recognised as authority.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    CUBAPEDIA Changui

    That Danzón was adopted in the England as Rumba before the 50's, is an interesting way that this dance tradition came back full circle in a 200 year cycle. I say this considering that Danzón itself is derived from Danza Habanera, which in turn is derived from the Contradanza that was introduced to Cuba by the British occupation of Havana, and French expats escaping the Haitian revolution in the late 18th century.
  5. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    Then what gives one the name: "Casino" and the other - "Son Urbano"?

    -Could you please explain to me what draws the line between Son Urbano and Casino?

    -Also, Could you please elaborate about those optimization you were referring to? What kinda of major changes happened to the dance through during the 50s~70s, and then through the 70s-80s? O:
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
    manzanadulce and CUBAPEDIA like this.

    CUBAPEDIA Changui

    In a short overview, Casino is Son Urbano after 20 years of being danced in Ruedas, and a much greater popular penetration than Son ever had. The name comes form the Casinos (not to be confused with Gambling Casinos, in the context of Cuban culture they were Social Clubs and existed throughout the island, most prominently of course in the capital of Havana). The term was coined in the 50's referring to how popular dancing in Ruedas was in el Casino Deportivo, and took a hold in popular culture much later, but the dance was not invented there by a small group of people. During the 50's and 60's, the dance was the same Son Urbano that was already danced to Son music, and this generation executes figures in a more "primitive" state.

    The Cuban Revolution in 59 intended to replace the old system in its totality, and engineer a "new man". In order to do this, it condemned and cast aside old "bourgeois values" from the. This happened at all spheres of government, education, and culture, including music such as Son, Bolero, and Trova. What people don't realize is that Castro sidelined many of the social clubs and Son music itself in the first decade of his revolution, especially the old guard such as Benny Moré and Celia Cruz. The well known Buena Vista Social Club film touches on this and I recommend all interested in the subject to watch it.

    There was a gap in popular Cuban dance music from the 50's to the 60's. This situation changed after Rock and Roll (such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones) started to penetrate Cuban youth in the 60's, much to the dismay of the Communist Party that saw it as Western Propaganda. The solution was to foment a home brewed "socialist" music to compete and satisfy the youth. Van Van occupied this niche with a new modality of Son, Songo (as did NUEVA Trova with Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez, among many others). This made way to the eventual acceptance of Son back into the fold, as long as it remained populist and celebrated the Revolution. Thus "popular" Cuban dance was back in vogue stronger than ever under the new label of Casino.

    Casino spread like wildfire – more than Danzón, Son, or Rumba ever did in previous generations – not because of the Social Clubs that gave it its name back in the 50's (many of them were shut down during the transition), but within Becas estudiantiles (intern schools). Here, students from all over the country would be interned in co-ed schools away from their families. After working on the fields and taking classes during the day, evenings and weekends at the dorms provided the ideal fertile ground to socialize and dance Rueda de Casino. Students could return monthly back to their families and neighborhoods, where they could share with family and friends the moves they had learned. Although Son and Casino had been danced by older generations in the 50's and 60's, Casino really took off with the 70's generation, those who were teens at the time regardless of race, region or or wealth. This allowed casino to be far more consistent among different regions in Cuba since the Becas acted as hubs.

    In this way, dancing Casino became mainstream to the point the average Cuban has at least a fundamental idea of how to dance, since they are exposed to Casino dancing from an early age, either throughs school, their friends, family members and neighbors. Of course not every Cuban is an accomplished dancer. Casino is danced at parties, night clubs, quinceañeras, social events, Becas Estudiantiles, on TV, etc. Yet it was never formalized as an artistic or folkloric dance in the way that Orishas and Rumba was through the Ministry of Culture.

    Structurally, you can better understand the adaptation of Son Urbano figures to Casino, by comparing how the original Son Figure (such as Enchufa or Dile Que No) differ from their Casino version after 20+ years of millions of people trying to dance in a Rueda to Songo music (as opposed to older Son Montuno with clear clave percussion). Naturally, the figures became more circular, and the followers, who had to change partners after each figure, started to optimize their steps to be more efficient and allow better traveling to always move forward and eliminate stepping back.

    In conclusion, if you look at Casineros from the 60's generation and earlier, you will see a Casino much closer tot he Son Urbano recorded by Pierre. If you look at the dancers from the 70's onwards, you will notice a more circular approach t dance and stepping forward for leaders and followers.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  7. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    OK, basics first! You need to be able to trasfer your weight as in basic merengue or whatvis called cuban motion. This is the basis as far as am concerned and those who taught me. By transferring fully your weight you lead the lady. As simple as that. Now how it fits with steps. Suppose you start dancing on the spot (any salsa style you like) with full weight on the right foot and your partner on her left. If you maintain a decend frame and hold (no pulling or pushing) then by you simply moving your weight on the left foot for the count of 1 should cause your partner to move her weight to her right foot. So the simple principle is that if you want your partner to do something you have to semi-do it yourself first. Or if you like action and reaction.

    Now assume you dance on the spot doing nicely 123pause (or tap, or ...) 123pause etc, then assume you are on a 3 with weight on right leg and your partner has weight on the left leg. At that moment because you have full weight on the right leg you are fully free to move your left leg wherever you want for the next count of 1. Fwd, bwd, bwd and to the right (behind the right foot), to the left (side step) or fwd and across your right foot. Anything is possible, and as long as you maintain the frame and hold properly, your partner will feel the lead and will react.

    If this is understandable, then using this approach you can perform and invent any step as long as your frame and hold is such that you are able to pass the signal/lead to your partner. So if we go to DQN, I explained the basic movement in the other thread. The difference with linear is that the lady does not necessarily know where she is meant to go. You should lead her. Using the principles above, depending of your action such as amount of body rotation when you open on 3, weight transfer; she will receive different signals and hence end up in completely different places.
    TomSchueler likes this.
  8. Peason

    Peason Son

    Well, not in the couple next to you, that's sure :D
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
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  9. manzanadulce

    manzanadulce Sonero

    @TomSchueler yes, to access the course you have to pay the membership fee. It's $120USD and valid for the whole year. Upon payment, he unlocks access to all of the instructional videos and courses via Facebook and YouTube. It's an amazing deal if you consider that only a month of classes would typically cost much more than that.

    What's so interesting about MCC is that the founder has traveled around Cuba dancing with all the locals, and using the tools he developed into the method, he is able to dance with all of them. For anyone that argues there are many different ways of dancing casino, MCC will provide you the tools to be able to dance with actual Cubans, regardless. I have put this to the test myself and danced with untrained Cubans after learning with MCC and I was able to dance with them. My partner had the same experience. For such a fair price, I really encourage you to check it out further. If you have trouble finding contact information, PM me and I am happy to put you in touch with the right people.

    Auf Wiedersehen
  10. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    WOW! Thanks for that immensely comprehensive answer!
    My intention was to understand the technical differences between Son Urbano and the 70s~80s' Casino (And not the history of it) - but this was truly interesting! :O
    Thank you, very much!

    This is more in the line of what I wanted to know. How do I distinguish Modern Casino from Son Urbano - Visual-wise, Basic-Principles-of-The-Dance wise...

    This was addressed when you told Vit about Casino's Enchufa.
    What are some other changes - that happened, and made Casino dancers more efficient at traveling?


    I.E: Observing Yoel's videos, I noticed that:

    -In his Son videos - he transfers weight (and body) to the 'slow' step (4, 8, when dancing Contra-Tiempo) quickly, and then "pauses" a litle. However, in Casino, it's more "Flow-ish" and "Legato-ish".

    -In his Casino videos, there is a considerably small angle between the direction he and his partner are going/facing. The lady seems to be "encircling" him, and they would both (especially the girl, though) usually fix and adjust their relative angles on counts 3-4 or 7-8 (Once again - the "slow" step), using some "twist" or "tap" actions.
    In his son videos, however, there is no "fixing" and "adjusting" duing those counts, because as I eralier mentioned - they somewhat pause. In addition, the angle, especially when travelling - will by much beigger (in comparison to the Casino videos) - they will almost face the same direction, and move together to the same direction. In that case - the girl doesn't encircle the guy - but instead, they both, together go in a circular motion around an "imaginary" center.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  11. manzanadulce

    manzanadulce Sonero

    @Dissonant Harmony @CUBAPEDIA can probably give you a better answer but part of the reason for the development of casino from son was because faster music became popular. You have already noticed in YM's videos that casino has that circular, always traveling flow. That is, in part, to adequately deal with faster music where there is no time to really "pause."
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  12. DC1

    DC1 Changui

    Absolutely! Unfortunately (or fortunately - depending on your orientation) Cuban Salsa, as it is generally referred to here in the UK, has become so common place that genuine knowledge about Casino - and the differences between it and Cuban Salsa/Salsa Cubana etc. (yes, it is different!) - are almost completely lacking.
  13. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Among other things...:rolleyes:
  14. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    Well, you got tea, biscuits, roman boards, so...:rolleyes:
  15. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'El Diferente' Canales

    For years now I have found that tempo is a big part of whether I want to dance casino a tiempo or contratiempo. I generally prefer contratiempo to slower songs but don't like it to fast ones. But then no one here really dances casino contratiempo so I only do that when I'm dancing around the house by myself :) My son is bad, which is why I don't claim to actually be dancing son.

    And I suppose one can easily argue that the music really is son anyway deep down so...
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  16. manzanadulce

    manzanadulce Sonero

    Dancing contratiempo vs a tiempo is a matter of interpretation of the song. Son and casino can both be danced in either time.

    Another reason for the development of casino was the increased popularity of dancing in ruedas, and dancers needed to be able to switch partners quickly and efficiently. Therefore, constant forward traveling stepping became the norm and casino developed out of the son.

    And yes deep down the music is really son anyway. ;)
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  17. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    So forward walking is there just for practical reasons and not because it is more natural as some were claiming
  18. manzanadulce

    manzanadulce Sonero

    Well one can argue it is more natural since we humans typically walk forwards with heel-toe motion. Of course it is also more practical for the reasons I indicated above.

    The back break construction is necessary for certain styles of dance like Latin hustle and swing but there is no need for it in casino.
  19. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I find nothing natural in going to the opposite direction of then one you desire - so you can change to that one one step later. Especially not when circular motion is included.
  20. manzanadulce

    manzanadulce Sonero

    Exactly. That's why casino in its most efficient form is danced with continuous forward motion ;). Exactly like the natural way in which we walk.

    Especially with fast music! If you break back even slightly during a timba or other fast tempo song when dancing casino, you're screwed :eek:

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